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3 buyout candidates the Suns must pursue after 2024 NBA Trade Deadline

The Suns have two roster spots. It’s time to fill them!

Phoenix Suns v Washington Wizards Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Moves were made by the Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline as they shed four players — pretty much their entire offseason bench signings — and brought back two in Royce O’Neale and David Toddy. The team became stronger as O’Neale, who makes $9.5 million this season, is a top-seven player in the rotation. Before they deal, that seventh player was a rotating smorgasbord of mediocre and passive performances.

Post-deadline, we know that the Suns are in a position to add to their roster, using the buyout market as a tool to do so. They are an appealing team on the market, given the level of talent and opportunity for someone to come to the Valley and contribute to a team with championship aspirations.

March 1 is the date that we will keep our eye on, as that is the date by which a player who is acquired is eligible for the postseason roster. We will also keep our ear to the ground to see if any of the rumored buyout players (Delon Wright, Otto Porter, Jr., or Cedi Osman) become available. As of this moment, they are still rostered by their respective teams.

We talked yesterday about what the Suns need. Defense. Rebounding. A big. These are what the Suns’ roster could use as, especially with the second team unit, this is where the deficiencies lie. With two roster spots, the Suns can accomplish the goal of acquiring a bigger player but also someone who can contribute from the wing and/or guard position.

The acquisitions at the deadline displayed a desire to improve their overall defensive acumen. Is that the route James Jones will go via the buyout market? Let’s look at three players Phoenix should have their eye on.

Delon Wright (if waived)

6’5”, 185 lb.

2023-24 Stats with the Washington Wizards: 31 GP, 14.5 MP, 4.3 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.6 APG, 39.5 FG%, 37.8 3PT%, 82.8 FT%

Wright, at 31, is an all-around solid basketball player on both ends of the floor. A guard/wing player who fills the gaps in some of the Suns' outgoing talent, he is someone who could move the needle if Phoenix can acquire him. The Wizards most certainly attempted to shop him at the trade deadline, but when no one made a move to include him in a deal, the man who was making $8.2 million.

He’ll be an unrestricted free agent next year, so the Wizards did not need to keep him. That’s the challenge, however, is he has yet to be waived by the Wizards. Ugh.

Wright can make an impact on the defensive end, much like Jordan Goodwin could, but possesses more size and athleticism. His 4.8 deflections per 36 minutes last season were second only to the Bulls’ Alex Caruso last season, and during his time with the Wizards, Washington was 3.9 points better defensively per 100 possessions with Wright on the floor.

Here are some B-Ball Index stats worth noting from Wright’s limited performances this season:

This is the guy, the more tape I watch, that I think would be a perfect addition to Phoenix. Sure, his three-point release is a little slow-mo, but he is someone who attacks on both ends of the floor. He has that mentality you need with the maturity to execute. He can take the primary ball handler on defense and can lock them up.

He doesn’t turn the ball over on the offensive side. His career assist-to-turnover ratio is 3-to-1, so he isn't costing you possessions during his time on the court. A good finisher, and a quality ball handler, he checks many of the boxes that any team would happily have on their bench.

Please waive him Washington. Please?

Thaddeus Young

6’8”, 235 lb.

2023-24 Stats with the Toronto Raptors: 23 GP, 15.2 MP, 5.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.2 APG, 62.1 FG%, 16.7 3PT%, 41.7 FT%

Every season we talk about the need for a player like Thad Young. Every season it seems that he is available, whether it be via trade, the buyout market, or free agency. Every year the Suns pass on him.

The 35-year-old Thad spent the season with the Raptors before being dealt to the Brooklyn Nets with teammate Dennis Schroder. He brings the size we desire as well as a veteran presence that needs to exist on the bench. As I’ve stated before, the inexperience of young “prove it” players manifested itself with inconsistent play. With Young, you wouldn’t be gaining a postseason rotational player, but you’d have a quality veteran who knows and understands his role, and when called upon can confidently play.

His shooting numbers are abysmal, and he’d be someone who’d you rely on for short periods to assist with rebounding and defense. He rates in the 83%tile per B-BallIndex in offensive rebounding per 75 possessions, good for an A- grading, and his deflections per 75 is in the 94%tile (A).

He is someone that other teams are looking at, such as the Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder. He isn’t sexy, he isn’t a game-changer, but Old Man Thad is a solid addition to any lineup.

Danilo Gallinari

6’10”, 233 lb.

2023-24 Stats with the Washington Wizards/Detroit Pistons: 32 GP, 18.1 MP, 7.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, 45.1 FG%, 35.5 3PT%, 85.0 FT%

And then there is another 35-year-old, Danilo Gallinari. After sitting out all of last year with an ACL injury, Gallinari has been attempting to work himself back into playing shape, doing so on two of the cellar dwellers in the Eastern Conference.

He has the confidence of Jusuf Nurkic, who Tweeted “Brate” and tagged Gallinari after Detroit chose to release him. Brate means “brother” in Bosnian.

Jusuf and Danilo played together in Denver from 2014 to 2017.

Gallo doesn’t truly meet any of the Suns’ current roster needs unless you are looking for someone to deliver on the promise that Yuta Watanabe was meant to be. He is an elite three-point shooter from the corner this season, hitting 50% of his shots in a space that he may continually occupy.

The Suns should give Danilo a look for the same reason they should give Thad a look: a good veteran player at the end of the bench who isn’t afraid to shoot when his name is called upon. He’d be the last guy to acquire, as the above two meet roster needs and would most likely have more playing opportunities.

These are players I feel the Suns should take a shot at, at least at this current point in time. Again, we don’t know what will become available in the upcoming days. In a perfect world, Wright becomes available and the Utah Jazz release Otto Porter, Jr., and the Suns acquire both. I believe that would be an amazing fortification of the bench unit and provide the stability for the second team unit that we’ve been longing for this entire season.

As we know, we don’t live in a perfect world.

Other viable contenders will surely be looking at the same players Phoenix is. It becomes the job of the front office not only to identify the right fit, but court them appropriately and sell them on the idea of what the Suns could be this season with their assistance.

Your move, James Jones.

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